Estrogens and bone density in elderly men

Decreased serum estradiol levels, not testosterone levels, are predictive of osteopenia in older men.

By | December 19, 2000

Serum estradiol in elderly men have a strong and positive association with bone mineral density, but hypogonadism related to ageing has little influence on bone density suggest a population-based study published in 18 December Annals of Internal Medicine (Ann Intern Med 2000 133:951-963).

Shreyasee Amin and colleagues studied 405 men aged 68—96 years who participated in the initial Framingham Study on factors that affect health. Every other year between 1981 and 1989 the researchers measured total testosterone, total estrogen and luteinizing hormone. During 1988–1989 the men in the study had bone density scans. Bone density was significantly greater at any site in men with higher estrogen levels. But bone density in men with abnormally low testosterone did not differ from that in men with normal testosterone levels.

It is thus possible that in the evaluation of elderly men low estradiol levels may be of greater importance than low testosterone levels, and further work is needed on the potentially therapeutic role of estradiol in men.

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